Winter is a fabulous time to visit Ibiza, and not only to enjoy the temperate climate and stunning nature in this season. As soon as the summer tourists leave, the winter social calendar springs into life, and new corners of the island pop up for exploration. Whether enjoying the natural surroundings and discovering new walks, or learning new skills with the whole family, the list of activities to keep everyone busy in the off-season is endless and full of variety. From sports and fitness, to numerous educational and craft workshops to more indulgent days and more – there’s even enough nightclubs to fill up a naughty weekend. Our team of island experts (who also happen to be year round residents) have compiled a selection of things to do in winter when you’re planning an island escape – the only difficulty will be fitting everything in.
Bring family and friends together while to practicing crafts or learning new skills at Numero 74 L’Atelier in the heart of the cosmopolitan village of Santa Gertrudis. The unique concept store and health food café runs a series of creative workshops and classes for all ages every weekend, all of which are perfect for fun family afternoons, or just dropping in for an hour with a friend. Choose a two-hour introduction to ceramics to get your hands on a potters’ wheel, or pop into a knitting class to get some tips to try at home. Creative Saturdays also include a World Food Buffet for 25€, so you can fuel your creativity with a fab feast. Meanwhile, Family Day Sundays features classes running all day from 11am until 7pm, so you and your little ones can spend plenty of time creating together. There’s also a festive Raclette night every Thursday if you prefer to get cheesy rather than crafty!
With over 300 days of sunshine, the opportunities to get out in nature in Ibiza aren’t simply limited to summer, and Walking Ibiza gives you the chance to enjoy Ibiza’s landscape, and expand your social life at the same time. The weekly guided walks are a chance to make new friends and discover hidden corners of the island. There are four weekly walks including Short & Sweet, around five kilometres, the BIG WALK, more than 20 kilometres, plus mindfulness walks and classic island routes – all include introductions to local flora and fauna and some interesting stories along the way. Be sure to add the Christmas Eve Charity Walk which starts at 10am in San Juan if you want to get a head start on burning off those festive calories, not to mention the New Year’s Eve walk and lunch, starting San Mateu at 11am, to your diary. Those left standing can start the new decade with the New Year, New Guide, New Walk from Can Jordi on Friday January 3, 2020 at 10am. Best feet forward!
Chilly winter afternoons are best spent indoors, so head to SOMM Wine Shop in the centre of Santa Gertrudis to combine two of the best out-of-season pastimes – vino and shopping. Tucked up a secluded pathway, behind popular health food café Wild Beets, the owners of this inviting specialist store see themselves as talent scouts for wines, with a team of highly experienced sommeliers selecting the best producers from vineyards around Europe. Whether looking for a particular bottle for a dinner party, or just browsing to discover a new favourite, this is the place to find a passionate wine advisor with plenty of information and fascinating stories behind each supplier to help you choose your tipple. Keep an eye on SOMM Wine Shop’s Facebook page for regular events over the festive period too, including mulled wine evenings, and tasting workshops.
One of the best things about Ibiza in winter is the exclusive shopping that can be found once the summer fashions disappear. Design store Blink Ibiza in Ibiza town is full of unique pieces from a collection of hand-picked designers that you won’t find anywhere else on the island. From gorgeous jumpers to natural wool ponchos, the careful selection makes it easy to find something you love – or something for someone you love at Christmas. There are simple classic jerseys from SIYU, and urban sweats for him by Barcelona’s Syngman Cucala, plus bohemian antique jewellery made here on island by Circa Ibiza, Italian handbags from MASqueMas, Parisian scarfs from Inouitoosh and ethically produced cashmere by Solopuro. The cream of the crop of European designers, just steps from Ibiza’s main square. Happy shopping!
Private chefs and healthy eating gurus The Ibiza Kitchen are ready to transform your winter eating habits with some practical, fun and informative lessons for Ibiza residents running on Thursday December 12, 2019 and Friday January 3, 2020. First up is Eat For Our Future, a two-hour teaching, cooking and eating session that looks at ways to create less food waste, to make your animal produce stretch further than just one meal and to build a menu plan around seasonal and local ingredients. January’s workshop looks at How To Eat Well Without Dieting, finding ways to connect to food in positive way and instil healthy eating habits that make you feel good every day. Considering that so much of the winter season in Ibiza is taken up with dining (when not walking, wine tasting or shopping!), it’s the perfect time to get into the kitchen and learn some impressive new skills.
For island residents, summer months are often spent working far too hard, so when winter rolls around, it’s all about indulging in some well-earned me time. Fortunately for those who live here, the luxurious spa at Atzaró Agroturísmo in the heart of the island remains seven days a week all year round, making it a heavenly spot to relax during the quieter off-season months. It’s not just for residents of course – hotel guests enjoy complimentary spa access and visitors can treat themselves to a spa day, complete with lounging around on daybeds in the lush orange groves on those beautiful sunny days and enjoying healthy cuisine from La Veranda restaurant. The sauna, sauna pod and hammam at Atzaró Spa bring the heat whenever the need arises, and wide menu of treatments and massages using organic Atzaró-grown plant-based products are at the heart of your experience. A daily schedule of yoga and wellness classes ensure your wellbeing too. This is one self-care escape that everyone thoroughly deserves this winter.
Dedicating some time to charity couldn’t be easier or more rewarding than taking the dogs from local animal shelter Sa Coma out for a lovely long winter walk. On Mondays, Wednesdays and Friday mornings from 9am until 11.30am, volunteers are invited to just turn up whenever they can, and exercise a pooch. There’s a whole range of rescue pups housed in the centre, behind the fire station on the San Rafael highway – the turning is just opposite Hipercentro – so you’re be assigned a dog dependant on your size and experience. Then through the woods and around the surrounding footpaths, you’ll take your hound for their run of the day. The more regularly you can go, the better you’ll bond with a particular dog, and if you think you could find room for them at home, of course these are all up for adoption too. Just remember, a dog is for life – not just for Christmas.
Although many winter activities seem focused on being healthy and active, this is still Ibiza, and it wouldn’t be the white isle without a little late-night naughtiness. The major super clubs have closed their doors, but weekends in winter are still buzzing, with at least three discotheques hosting events for those who aren’t ready to hang up their disco (house or techno) boots just yet. Cabaret restaurant and club Lío Ibiza remains open on Friday and Saturday nights, with parties from local promoters Game Over, Zoo Project and Ibiza Talents. The Cirque Du Soleil collaboration club HEART Ibiza also stays open weekends, with events from labels like Moon Harbour and promoters such as La Troya. Ibiza Underground has some sporadic parties planned (keep your eye on their Facebook page for details), while newcomer Octan Ibiza throws a weekly shindig on Saturday nights. On New Year’s Day, you can’t go past the legendary Circo Loco at DC-10 – plenty of opportunity to be led astray if willing.
It’s been a long-standing New Year’s Day island tradition that locals unite on the beach at Las Salinas at lunchtime, to plunge into the new year with a fresh and frisky dip in the Balearic Sea before heading down the road to Circo Loco at DC-10. In recent years, the the fun-loving crew behind family-owned wine store Vino & Co have turned the tradition into a more official event in the very best way possible, by very generously bringing plenty of wine, and bringing a sense of order to the thousands of people who come to the beach to participate. The team – who are no stranger to NYD dives, as it’s also a tradition in their native Holland – assemble a gathering in the centre of the nature reserve of Las Salinas, right on the beach between the now-closed beach bars of Malibu and Beso Beach, and organise swims on the hour at 12pm, 1pm and 2pm followed by a communal feast – all swimmers are invited to bring a plate to share. Swimming is optional of course, usually dependant on how much wine has been consumed!